What were the fates of the Armies of the Low Countries?

After the Blitzkrieg and the conquest of France and the low countries, what happened to the Danish, Belgian, Dutch troops who stayed in their nations?

Were they housed in captivity like their French counterparts and used as forced labor or did they return to their civilian lives?


My granddad was sent home in 1940 (he fought near The Hague (Ypenburg) and was traumatized as he suddenly had to kill young Germans). In 1943 he was picked up again as a POW as Germany was losing the war. My grandmother was pregnant at the time and my grandfather tried to escape to home 3 times and the last time he was picked up near Weert about 40 miles from his home on a train he took.

When going back he was locked in a doghouse style fence where he had to make “barking sounds” to every German who passed by. His friend refuse and was shot dead as an example. My granddad wanted to see his son again so he complied. Generally the treatment was bad and he had to eat bark to survive.

However he did meet a German party officer who took him in the house and shared food, that German was baffle why the Netherlands had declared war on Germany and and had a hard time believing that it was the other way around (Germans were not well known for questioning authority at the time). In the end he did see the point and after the war my family returned the favor and sent them food as Stuttgart was really poor just after the war and the German population was tasked to remove all the rubble from the valley to a giant pile which is still there and a place were I saw a lot of Germans grandparents bring their kids as a reminder what can happen.

PS the above is family history, I don’t know a 100% if the dates etc are ok or if his experiences are typical of the rest. I think most were forced labor, even the “voluntary” ones often had the choice to work in German service (arbeitseinsatz) or basically starve to death when not finding a job.